David Benjamin & Natalie Jeremijenko

Amphibious Architecture

New York Harbor


Though New York is surrounded by rivers, residents have little to no interaction with the water and little understanding of the ecosystem below. The Environmental Health Clinic at New York University and the Living Architecture Lab at Columbia University created Amphibious Architecture to allow a data-driven dialogue between humans, fish and their shared environment. Installed in the East River and the Bronx River, two networks of interactive tubes contain underwater sensors and display lights above. Through a text-message feature, participants can correspond with fish and receive real-time data about water quality in response. Conceived by architect David Benjamin and artist Natalie Jeremijenko, Amphibious Architecture imagines a dynamic, participatory city in which static architecture is replaced by a kinetic and responsive built environment.

Community, Information, Pleasure, Sustainability
6 days
Problem - little understanding of river ecosystem
Solution - sensors that reveal water quality and fish presence